If you have the leaves raked, and the summer vegetable plants cleared off your garden area, you may think that you are finished for the fall and winter months. You may want to do a double check. Finish the list by making a final check.of things before and right after the first hard freeze.
Protecting Young Trees
If you have young trees it is important to protect them before the winter winds start to blow and snow covers the ground. It’s not so much that you need to protect them from winter weather, but you do need to protect them from rabbits and other rodents who like to chew and on the tender bark. You can wrap the trunks with hardware cloth. Choose a hardware cloth that has half-inch or smaller holes. When you wrap this around the tree trunk, make sure the wrap goes above the expected snow line.
Prepare Hybrid And Grandiflora Roses
Hybrid or grandiflora roses also need protection against the elements. The best time to do this is after a hard freeze where the temperature has fallen to 20 degrees F. or lower. Now you can go out with your pruning shears and cut the canes back. Leave the canes to heights of at least 6 to 12 inches. Once you have that done and the canes cleared away, mound some topsoil around the roses. Cover them with mulch. You can use straw, hay or leaves to cover them.
Don’t forget to dig the tender flower bulbs after the first frost turns their leaves black. Some of these tender bulbs include cannas, dahlias, gladiolas and tuberous begonias. If you leave these outdoors and don’t dig them, the winter will kill them. After carefully digging the bulbs from the ground, remove the foliage. Remove the dirt by gently rinsing them under running water. Before you can store the bulbs you must dry them. Place the washed bulbs on a screen in a well-ventilated area. Don’t place the bulbs in direct sunlight or in a windy location. The ideal temperature to dry them is 60 and 70 degrees F. and cut off the foliage. The bulbs take 1 to 3 days to dry. Place the bulbs in paper bags or Prepare to store them in mesh bags or paper bags. You can also layer the bulbs in a cardboard box. Place a layer of newspaper or peat moss between the layers of bulbs. Do not close the box. You need good ventilation to keep the bulbs from spoiling. Do remember to label the bulbs so you know what they are when it comes to planting them in the spring. Keep the boxes in a cool, dark place in your house where the temperature stays between 45 and 60 degrees F. A basement or cellar is a good place to store them. Always check the bulbs several times throughout the winter months. Remove any bulbs that are soft or mushy.